My Cultivation Experience at College
Shared at the recent Experience Sharing Conference in Toronto
Greetings to great compassionate Master!
Fellow practitioners, greetings!
My four years in college were tied up with the Fa-rectification period. I feel that there are special requirements and missions for college students who are a Dafa practitioners during this special period of time. College may seem like a special place, different from other work environments, Students have to deal with homework and all kinds of exams after finishing classes. However, such an environment is one of the many in the world. All the apparent differences are just illusions.
I. Eliminating my attachment to fame and the Fa gave me wisdom
I came from Japan right after graduation from high school to attend a college in US. When I started as a freshman, I was not good at English. I worried about damaging the reputation of Dafa and upsetting my parents if I didn't improved my English well enough. I didn't realize that such worries were my excuses for attachments. In those days, other than studying the Fa and practicing the exercises, I seized every moment to study my courses. I also found many tutorial books, and devoted all my efforts in my courses. However, I somehow felt uneasy in my heart.
"It has been said: 'When I come to this ordinary human society, it's just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry.' Some people are just obsessed with this place and have forgotten their own homes." (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that my mindset was far from pure and clear. I felt ashamed of myself. I thought I had got rid of my attachment to fame. However, I didn't cultivated solidly. What I got rid of were actually only leaves grown from the attachment to fame rooted deep in my heart, and it almost blocked me from seeing my true attachment. I am a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, with the great mission to clarify the truth. Any attachment of mine would not only obstruct my personal cultivation, but also stop many lives from being saved. After I found my attachment and let it go, all my worries were gone. I felt at ease.
Of course, I still studied hard, however, for a totally different reason. I am a practitioner and should be responsible to society. I am supposed to do well in my work, which means being a good student. This does not mean to focus on the results in this dimension. Instead, it's about treating every sentient being with compassion during the course. In other words, it's about respecting the teacher, being kind to classmates, and being serious about the courses. I studied hard, not to validate myself, but to validate Dafa better as a student. Then a miracle happened. Even though I didn't understand what my classmates were talking about after class, I was able to understand everything the professor said in class. When I have a righteous mind, Fa gave me wisdom, purified my mind so I always felt calm and quiet.
In school, I tried to seize every opportunity to clarify the truth. I took part in many truth-clarifying projects. Thus I didn't have much time to study my courses. However, I studied the Fa and practiced the exercises every day, and Teacher helped me with compassion so that I could well balance my study and truth-clarification. I studied my courses with ease, and I was the one who finished course credits the fastest in my department. My instructor recommended me to take a graduate course. At first, the professor who taught the graduate course suggested me to take another course so I would not be over-burdened. I said I would like to give it a try. After a few classes, the professor began to call me affectionately "the class baby" (meaning I am the youngest in the class). I never felt over-burdened, and started to make a documentary film on Falun Gong. My professor not only gave me an A, but also recommended me for admission to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film program, with a full scholarship covering all expenses. All these do not really matter to a cultivator. However, this is one thing that does matter, i.e., another life was saved. My professor approved my work because she understood the truth of Falun Gong. Her support of Falun Gong was her choice of a bright future for herself. I felt really happy for her being saved. My instructor recommended me as an Honor Student. She said, "Jinwei is an exceptional student. She is always able to fulfill what she wants to do." I believed she said so because she felt the great power of a Dafa practitioner's righteous thought.
When I was a sophomore, I was awarded the "National Honor Student." When I was a junior, I was awarded the "International Honor Student." For a student who came to a US college directly after graduation from a high school in Japan, such achievement may not seem to be a easy task. However, I was able to achieve it without difficulty because I am a Dafa practitioner. Teacher has opened up my wisdom. I want to save sentient beings with the purest heart and righteous actions. I don't want to contend. I want to walk the path of cultivation with a clear mind and without regret, and to validate Dafa with all my life. I find that, as a Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification, if we always put our cultivation and truth-clarification in the first place, learning ordinary people's knowledge is easy.
Teacher told us in "Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A."
"Since you're doing Dafa cultivation, everything should be the most magnificent and the purest. None of the things we do are just about your personal cultivation. We have to also consider the Fa, and we have to consider the new beings of the future, and, at the same time, we have to consider the form of beings in the future. Because you're laying a foundation for them, the path we take has to be righteous. Whatever you do today, the future people will remark, 'That's how Dafa disciples did it back then,' so we can see that many things are major."
An exception was made for me to take a photography class taught to graduate students. At first, I didn't quite understand. The teacher taught the class in a fast pace, and our assignments were to take pictures according to the theory she taught. Then one night, I had a dream. In the dream, master taught me how to compose and how to take the picture. I didn't remember all the details after I woke up, but I could recall the essence. So I finished my assignment according to the instructions in my dream, and got an A. The instructor was amazed. This happened to me several times. In the conclusion of the class, when the instructor commented on every student's works, she said, "The pictures taken by Jinwen are always so nice and peaceful, no matter how busy the subjects in the pictures are."
II. Taking classroom as a place to save everyone with predestined relationships
During four years in college, I had many people hear the truth of Falun Gong in class. For instance, in picture composition class first semester, our assignment was to draw the movements of a familiar person. I decided to paint a picture where Mom was practicing Falun Gong. The next day, I was asked to show my work and explained it to the class. I thus introduced Falun Gong to my whole class and told them about the persecution by the CCP. After class, many classmates came over to get more information about the persecution.
And different chances lay in three other courses also. I used what we learned in the course to clarify the truth naturally to them and had good effect. At this time, my heart of happiness welled up. One day, the professor of English literature gave us an assignment; to compose an essay; free topic. I chose to write an essay on the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. Days later, the enraged professor me in her office, telling me I could no longer write essays on Falun Gong. The excuse was that her class was literature, not politics. I felt evidently that she knew little about Falun Gong, and was somewhat contaminated by evil CCP. But I didn't give up, I kept on clarifying the truth to her with kindness and patience. I told her that it was not about politics, but rather an important issue concerning the basic conscience and ethics of man. She then changed, and finally smiled at me.
The last English assignment was to present a topic before the whole class. On hearing my professor say that, I hesitated a little bit. Though I thought it was a good chance to clarify the truth. However, I was wondering whether the professor would not let me pass. Since it was final test and was worried that if so, I had to retake the course again the next semester. Not to say how expensive the course was, I myself would feel awkward and abashed for I had always been an outstanding student. My attachment to fame showed up again. I had found that the more I felt attached, the more excuses I could make. I was wondering...would the reputation affect others' righteous understanding of Dafa? The more I thought that way, the more unsteady I felt, and I thought all these excuses would collapse easily. I should kindly treat all. Where was my heart of compassion? Did I act selflessly in all circumstances? I felt rather ashamed of myself. Dafa is so immense, and it is the law of the universe. I had to follow what Master had said that eliminating the attachment of fame by cultivation. I need to use the most pure heart to clarify the truth. How dare I make obstacles for them? I questioned what was my ultimate purpose of coming here on earth? I told myself, "Your life is given by Master, who with innumerable trials and hardships has saved us. How dare you keep those illusive worldly attachments which do not belong to your life? I will follow Master." With no more hesitation, I decided to get things ready to use this chance to clarify the truth. With the scheme of how the CCP closed off media, I clarified truth to them and played a DVD showing the truth to over 20 students in the class, at the same time distributing flyers to all of them, including my professor. Then I composed a pretty long truth-clarifying article as my final work. While I was writing, I totally forgot it was for my final, but more of facing the professor clarifying the truth to her. I got it done without taking any break, and then handed it in. When the results came through, in the first semester, I got an "A" for each course. In addition, I won a scholarship. With the experience of this semester, I knew more clearly about how to validate Dafa and cultivate myself on campus.
In one of my core courses, no matter whether it was producing, painting, picturing, photo-taking, acting, designing, or directing drama, chances would always be at hand. But opportunities were not as easy to get in those obligatory courses for undergraduates, such as math, chemistry, physics, history, etc., but I could create chances. For example, I would introduce persecution-related activities, such as the petition signing activity for rescuing Charles Lee to the class, which the professor was very supportive and suggested having the whole class know the truth and sign one by one. The photo exhibit of the path of Fa-rectification, picture exhibition of Zhang Cuiying, candle light vigil, the Chinese New Year Gala, and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party became good chances for me to clarify the truth to all students at one time.
This semester, I was quite engaged in the late producing of a film. I didn't select any course. When the Sujiatun event was released, I immediately realized that I had to let the whole college know. Thus, on my own initiative, I asked the dean of the department and some other professors to supervise my film. During this course, I clarified the truth about Sujiatun to them. On hearing this, though knowing the evil of the CCP, they were totally shocked, and they all said that if this fact was disclosed to the public, the CCP would fall from power in no time.
I found activities organized by the college good chances for me to clarify the truth as well. For instance, just before Hu Jintao's visit to the U.S., Ms. Thomas, director of the news department in the White House, senior journalist, came over to our college to give a speech on a seminar. After the meeting, I came up to her telling her from the event of Sujiatun to the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. She expressed that she didn't know it before, but she would think about submitting the issue to Hu on his visit. Once at a dinner party for acknowledging scholarship sponsors, I started clarifying the truth with the Wenyi Wang's speaking out at the White House. The discussion at the dinner table became ardent, and almost everyone showed their concern for the persecution of Falun Gong. But there was a student majoring in politics and contaminated by the CCP propaganda. He told me that he was once told by a Chinese overseas student that Falun Gong practitioners didn't love their motherland and only focused on the seamy side instead of viewing the good part. He himself visited the Clearwisdom and the Epoch Times websites, sort of "finding out" that the overseas Chinese was totally lying. He then raised a question to me "If the downfall of CCP came the next day, what fate would the vast land of China face?" I thus told him that China and CCP were different concepts and they meaning varied. CCP would never represent China. With a history of over 5,000 years, Chinese dynasties changed one after antoher, and the new one came. The CCP, originally introduced from the previous Soviet Union, had been controlling Chinese people and destroying the ancient Chinese culture, which made the Chinese people live without their own culture and traditions. Right after I said that, people sitting around plumped out, "Yeah, that's right! Beyond questioning!" and all others were nodding from time to time. At last that student of politics stated, "I will firmly support you and be on your side. I hope new China will come sooner."
III. Clarifying the Truth on Campus
In my second semester at college, I found it far enough to clarify the truth of Falun Gong in class only. I should take every opportunity came along and let more students and faculties know the truth. Then I thought of setting up a Falun Gong Club among students so that some truth-clarifying activities and anti-persecution activities could be organized on campus. Well, according to the provision of the college, it couldn't be established until 15 to 20 student members signed on the sheet. But at that time, I was the only practitioner on campus. I regarded it as a good chance to clarify the truth. Normally, I would not talk to someone I came across on campus. But this time, holding the sheet in my hand, I went to the playground to meet students and clarified the truth by asking for their opinion of establishing a club like this, whether they would be interested and supportive. Almost all of them signed their names and put down their contact information joyfully. From that very day on, within a single day, we had gotten our own Falun Dafa club on campus. Later on, a lot of activities were held, such as signing-up for rescuing Charles Lee, photo show of the path of Fa-rectification, candle light vigil, picture exhibition of Dafa disciples, China's human right seminar for suing the evil head, etc. Out of expectation that it provided a free site for conferences of the practitioner groups in DC region. They now seemed to provide convenience to Dafa disciples, but actually have placed their status for their own future life in the new universe. One day, I received a threatening e-mail from the president of the Chinese Students Association saying I would be killed All other Chinese students in our college received the same e-mails too, warning them that the Chinese embassy had already been informed with everything about me. Making use of this event, I took this opportunity to disclose evil to those who I seldom met, such as our headmaster, the vice-chancellor and his assistant. Because I knew no matter what profession or status they have, they had been waiting for this Dafa for many lifetimes. Hearing the truth, they said in the free and democratic United States of America no one was allowed to threaten Falun Dafa practitioners, and that people in future would forever keep Falun Dafa in mind. I also used that chance to clarify the truth to all Chinese students in the college and got support from some righteous students.
I have the honor to be the person in charge of social activities of the American chapter of the International Excellent Student Association. Under my proposal, our section sponsored a party for saving the Chinese orphans of Falun Gong practitioners, with joint effort from our Falun Dafa club and the Minghui school as the organizer. The chairman of the chapter gave a speech. Days later, when she met me she asked me excitedly, "Yesterday I had a stir of my final presentation on my speech class, and got a high score. Do you know what my topic was?" I looked at her, puzzled. She said, "I told them how the children of the Chinese Falun Gong practitioners became orphans. I also surfed on the internet and found out that the Chinese police even use electric clubs to torture them." The students asked to extend my speech and the professor even agreed.
When I was a junior, I accomplished my graduation work ahead of schedule. It was a 30-min newsreel named "Hope" whose theme was about these 36 westerners going to the Tiananmen Square to rectify the Fa. I made two different editions based on both western and eastern styles. Some professors asked for discs from me. Some showed their anger toward the CCP' s persecution of Falun Gong. Some said to me that this kind of film might be banned inside China. That again gave me more chance to clarify the truth to them. Later on, this film won the champion award in American College Film Exhibition, and was selected to be shown on a film exhibit in Florida. How I hope more schools and human rights organizations could see my film. But I was engaged in other truth-clarifying projects so that I hardly had time to promote the film. Later a publisher found the value of the film. He wanted to promote it to schools, libraries and non-government organizations. Through this film, more people will learn the truth they have been waiting for, especially the youngsters in the States, and they will tell others. Our truth is like a shock wave shaking the deep part of human lives, purifying every corner of the human world.
Category: Standing Up for Falun Dafa